Town of Orangeville commits to development of Tourism Strategy

Resulting plan set to position the Town for COVID-19 recovery in the short-term, while addressing long-term opportunities

The Town of Orangeville has begun the process of developing a five-year Tourism Strategy & Action Plan which will incorporate COVID-19 recovery measures, as a way to determine important next steps for the community’s short- and long-term economic development.        

The creation of this Strategy & Action Plan follows the findings of the 2018 Orangeville Economic Development Strategy which identified tourism as a sector of focus for future growth within the region. More recently, in consideration of the global pandemic’s impact on Orangeville’s residents and businesses, the opportunities afforded by domestic tourism development are expected to play a key role in Ontario’s long-term economic recovery.

Project efforts are being led by Toronto-based consulting firm Bannikin Travel & Tourism. The approach will be three-phased and implemented throughout the next eight months, overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of Town staff members.

Orangeville’s tourism professionals – including business owners, accommodation and restaurant managers – will be consulted on their perspectives regarding opportunities and challenges to further develop the region’s tourism product and appeal. Input from related sectors, such as arts and culture, will also be an important part of this project.

The community will be invited to share their insights via public forum in July, the details of which will be shared at a later date, once more information about lifted restrictions in Ontario becomes available.

“We had already planned to launch this project in the pre-pandemic era, when Orangeville’s local economy was thriving and we were exploring opportunities to further develop the tourism sector with a sustainable, inclusive approach,” said Ruth Phillips, the Town’s Manager of Economic Development and Culture. “Now, though circumstances have changed due to COVID-19, domestic tourism is expected to grow throughout Ontario. We’re committed to ensuring Orangeville is well-prepared for the shift, and the opportunities it may bring.” 

Stakeholder and resident engagement efforts, in addition to surveys and analyses, will inform the Strategy & Action Plan which is expected to be complete by late fall 2020 and then presented to Town Council.

Bannikin Travel & Tourism is currently supporting similar projects, including those for Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Prince Edward County and the City of Brampton. The team has previously worked with Visit Oakville, the City of Orillia and Grey County.

More information on the project, as well as regular progress updates, can be found by visiting a new dedicated web page.